Ok, I know I said that we’d have to wait until we see how fall cruising goes to really have a sense that the full enclosure was worth it. I was wrong. We do not need to wait. Karin and I have been out in the San Juan Islands now for over a week, and I can tell you right now that the full enclosure as made the trip more enjoyable.
We stopped first for a day in Chuckanut Bay. Very lovely, as you can see.
But Monday August 22nd was not quite as nice. In fact it rained like we don’t usually see here in the great Northwest in Summer. We’re talking big drops….for hours. It had to be many, many inches. We’ve seen this before of course. And we all know how this works. You shut the hatch, grab a book and a bottle of Burgundy, and wait it out.
Those of us who have a traditional sailboat, in other words not a Pilot House, know that on these days, August can get a little dark. Your portlights are only so large, and you are sitting on the settee at or below the water line. In most designs that means you can’t really look out the portlights from your seated position. You have to stand up to look out and around.
Not so with a full enclosure. During this massive rainfall, I sat out in the cockpit with my book (yes, I know it’s a Kindle, but it’s where my books are these days) and as I sipped the wine and read, occasionally I would glance up and say, “Damn unusual weather we’re having.”
What’s more, we’re taking more and more meals up in the cockpit. We have always eaten there. But in past trips, if we’re cooking late and the sun is already behind a hill, NW evening cool has been known to chase us back inside to eat. But these days, even on cool evenings, we just zip up….and stay up in the cockpit to eat, read, chat, etc.
And on the days when we’re not sailing, but motoring along, the enclosure gives much more protection and comfort. So, no waiting. We formally declare the new full enclosure a success, and we highly recommend them. Yes, there is a little extra windage when you’re dealing with tight quarters, but if you went to a pilot house you’d have to deal with that anyway. And with the enclosure…you can take it all off when the sun is shining and you want to run free. It’s all about options.
Oh, I mentioned the wine earlier. Karin and I have been conducting what we’ve taken to calling the Great Bordeaux Shootout. The guys down at Esquin Wine in South Seattle hooked me with some marketing extolling the virtues of the 2009 vintage….we we bit…and bought three bottles they recommended. We’ve been plugging away, and now have a winner to announce. David Beaulieu ’09 Bordeaux Superieur. It’s a young one, but the family has been making it for 100 years….so they know a few things. I’ve just ordered a case. We’ll have some with us next summer on Marie